Japan has two tasty types of fondues which are called ‘Sukiyaki’(すき焼き) and ‘Shabu-Shabu’ (しゃぶしゃぶ). These fondues are quite similar however the Sukiyaki is considered as sweeter than the Shabu-Shabu. It is pretty good to eat that kind of food during winter with family and friends.
About the Sukiyaki, there is a soup prepared and served in a hot pot called Nabe. Inside the pot, the common ingredients that Japanese people put are Tofu, Negi (a type of scallion), mushrooms, and vegetables such as Chinese cabbage. Sometimes people put ‘udon’ or ‘soba’ noodles. Then, people put thinly sliced beef or sometimes pork.
If you have the chance to travel in both Tokyo and Osaka, you should definitely try the Sukiyaki in both cities. Indeed, there is a Tokyo way of cooking which consists of stewing the ingredients in a mixture of soy sauce and sugar. In Osaka, the way of cooking would be by grilling the meat first and then, people add the sauce.
On the other hand, the Shabu-Shabu requires also thinly sliced beef or pork however the meat is stewed in water. The water served in a hot pot usually has vegetables. The Shabu-Shabu is considered as healthier than the Sukiyaki because it using water and not a sweet sauce. In a restaurant, the Shabu-Shabu is often with dipping sauces such as Ponzu (soy sauce and vinegar) and sesame sauce.
The Shabu-Shabu or Sukiyaki restaurants offers sometimes a free meat refill for a certain length of time, therefore you pay, for example, for an hour and you can eat as much meat and vegetables as you want! But if you eat too much meat it will not be healthy!
The Sukiyaki is an older recipe than the Shabu-Shabu as it exists since the mid 19th century and the Shabu-Shabu since the mid 20th century. The first Sukiyaki opened in Yokohama, and by the way if you go to this city you might find a traditional Yokohama style Gyunabe (a kind of beef stew dish).